Fashion first as disabled model fronts campaign
Published 14/09/2010 | 05:00
ShaNNON Murray is the first disabled model to front a nationwide fashion campaign.
The 32-year-old Dublin native, who broke her neck diving off rocks in Lanzarote when she was 14, this month fronts Debenhams' high street window campaign across 160 stores.
Shannon is a spokeswoman on disability issues and last night said it was important to portray a positive and realistic representation of disability in the media.
And she believes there is a "bigger social conscience" in Ireland than in Britain.
"Initially when I went back to Ireland after my accident, I thought things were more positive there. I think legislation is faster to move in Ireland than it is in England.
"People in Ireland are more politically aware and more socially involved so that plays quite a big factor in it. I think people want to be seen doing the right thing in Ireland and they have a social conscience, " Shannon added.
The model, who comes from a well-known music industry family, currently lives in London where she is about to embark on a legal career having completed her law studies.
Her father Frank, who came from Walkinstown in Dublin, managed a string of iconic bands such as Thin Lizzy, The Pogues and The Frames.
Her costume-designer mother Ferga came from Dolphin's Barn in Dublin and trained at the Grafton Academy as did Shannon's grandmother, Nora McGrattan, who had a shop, Apple, on Capel Street.
"Growing up all I ever wanted to do was act . Because I grew up behind the scenes of the music industry, there was no allure. Someone asked me if they had airbrushed my legs in the Debenhams advertisement and I said : 'No, my legs are that great.'
"My legs look good, they just don't work so well," she said.